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tell me about what your c5-6 was like plz

I am obsessing about my symptoms. Coughing or sleeping sometimes causes my neck to spasp and stiffen up. It hurts along the right side of my back to the bra line. Sometimes I have unbearable pain under my scapula/shoulder blade. I get occasional zinging pain when I hang my arm down. Kind of like a pulling feeling and head aches. Some days hand aches on the right as well but no weakness or numbness.

Tell me your story so I can compare symptoms to your diagnosis to keep me busy until my doc finally consents to a MRI.

Thanks!
Jana
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Comments

  • I just had disc replacement for C5-6. I had the same symptoms as you. Zapping down my left arm and into my thumb and index finger. Also random shooting pains in my neck and shoulders. About 3 months before my surgery the numbness got really bad, and I even had it in my right arm and hand. My hands were really clumsy, I dropped things all the time. I had muscle twitches in my calves and biceps. All these symptoms are gone, but I'm very early in my recovery.
    ab1988
  • Commenting! I don't think my condition is as bad as yours was. If I ever need surgery I think disc replacement is the way to go. I have heard other people say it has really helped them!
  • Hi, I had ACDF C5/6 on 4th December (6 days ago). Unfortunately I don't seem to have any change in my symptoms; I had constant pin in my left arm for 15 months and numbness in my fingers and pins and needles in the thumb side of my hand. I had an epidural into the nerve in July which had no affect whatsoever. My surgeon was very pleased with the surgery and was surprised I was still experiencing arm pain immediately after surgery and the following day when I was allowed home. He asked me to call him in 2 weeks and let him know how I was getting on. Well I was very surprised to receive a phone call from him yesterday. As my symptoms have not changed he has requested a further MRI scan. So I guess now it is just a waiting game to see what, if anything, else is wrong with me!

    Katie
    ACDF C5/6 metal plate fusion December 4th 2014
  • I am have a herniated disc at c5/6 as well and i have that same pain under my scalpula and my hand aches - mostly in my 4th and 5th fingers/joints. Not numbness/tingling.. just aching. Pain varies anywhere from a 1 to a 5. Considering C5/6 fusion. My surgeon is very against disc replacement - says he's seen more issues come from it than with a fusion. My neck and top of shoulder are always really tight - sometimes I can really feel the tightness into my scalp. I'm glad the pain isn't worse.. but man it is still terrible!! This has been going on for over 3 years. I'm only 28. Please keep me posted on your progress.
    Amy
    28 years old, active, distance runner
    Herniation in C5/C6 2011
  • ReadyforchangeRReadyforchange Posts: 90
    edited 12/12/2014 - 5:27 PM
    I had trigger point injections today. It gave me more range of motion. I can turn my head farther side to side and my upper back started cracking. The point of the shots is to loosen up the tight muscles and get me through until after baby is born and I can get an MRI and see what all is going on. The pain doc and regular MD think herniation as well but we can't know until the MRI. Some days it is mild pain and other days it just sucks.

    Thanks for sharing your story. How did your surgeon deem you a surgical candidate? I have struggled with neck issues for years and just think that surgery is my next step. I think putting it off is a great idea but I am tired of the worsening roller coaster. I like PT though. Have you tried that and the epidural? I am also on 40 mg of prednisone. My poor baby... I was going nuts with pain and subsequent depression.

    Keep me posted on your progress too. It is such a weird thing to deal with!
  • I had a herniated disc at c5-6 7 years. My symptoms were a little different than most people. First thing I had NO pain! I did have severe numbness/tingling/loss of strength through my arms, hands, midsection and LEGS. I had a strange gate, walked with stiff legs and had to balance myself with my arms held out, kind of like Frankenstein's Monster. I had clonus that would go on for a few minutes with a touch of my foot. I felt off balance, ,not dizzy/vertigo, just felt like I was going to fall down all the time.
    Good times!
  • Here is what I've tried over the last 3 years: Chiro, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, anti-inflammatory drugs, yoga, gabapentin and most recently I had an epidural nerve block on c6 nerve root. I am working with 2 doctors - one is a spine specialist and family friend (Dr. S) , the other is the surgeon who just did a microdiscetomy on my husband (Dr. C).

    Dr. S recommended the MRI (Feb 2103) and saw a clear herniation at C5/6- put me in physical therapy and recommended the nerve block. He is very much the kind of doctor who wants to avoid surgery if at all possible.. and seems to think that's possible most of the time. He reviewed the results of my nerve block and felt they indicated that the surgery would relieve most if not all of my pain. I was confused by the nerve block - it seemed like it made a few areas better but my shoulder blade in particular got much, much worse. At any rate, if he says that is a good result, I will take it!

    Dr. C reviewed my MRI and symptoms and said that I am a strong candidate for ACDF surgery. He emphasized that in my case it's optional - based on my symptoms I don't need to rush into it but after this amount of time and trying all the things I have... he doesn't think it will go away on it's own. He didn't think I needed to do a nerve block - felt the MRI was conclusive enough. But I did it anyways (as I mentioned above).

    I scheduled surgery for Feb 24th, but I am going on Thursday to do another MRI just to be safe. By that time the other MRI will be 2 years old. I will be interested to see how the 2 compare. My sense is that it's getting worse.

    One note, and I'm not familiar with the RX you're on.. but I've been taking Gabapentin 300mg "on demand" on days where the pain is bad and it does seem to help significantly. This is not how it's been prescribed to me, I'm supposed to take it 3x/day. However I am not a big fan of being on that much RX when I only need it a fraction of the time. I have decided to try taking it 3x/day to see what the result is.. But even then I feel like taking an RX 3x/day is not a long term solution.. especially with the potential side effects.

    Take care and feel better! - Amy
    Amy
    28 years old, active, distance runner
    Herniation in C5/C6 2011
  • Good evening Amy,

    I'm not sure those are good ideas when you have a herniation in the neck. You can do physical therapy all day long but it's not going to repair a broken or fragmented disc, in fact there is a good chance you could make things worse in my humble opinion.

    I personally would never do a nerve block unless I was in intolerable pain with no hope in site for improvement, the risk is too great that the doctor will do further harm and the block will not last. Far better to make a concious decision to take opiates.

    If I could do mine all over again I would do the surgery as fast as possible in order to minimize the damage caused by the disc fragments biting into the nerve root. Better yet, I would have stopped doing things that 20 yr olds do when I'm in a 45 yr old body.

    Good luck
  • Your final MRI on Thursday Amy. It sounds like you may be headed to a good surgical outcome!
  • Hey there,

    After reading your post, i can relate to your symptoms. I am post posterior cervical foraminotomy and disectomy on my C5-C6; post op was great but i still get neck stiffness and neck tightness along with scapula pain down to the rhomboids. its been 3 months since surgery so i'm going to wait a little longer to see if it heals. i've done intensive PT so far and it has helped a bit but i want to be 100%. anything you're doing to make the symptoms go away?

    good luck
  • ab1988aab1988 Posts: 42
    edited 12/29/2014 - 12:47 PM
    I had artificial disc replacement on C5-6 Dec. 2. I'm so glad to say I'm doing great. I'd done chiropractor (learned after the fact I shouldn't have for neck problems), oral steroids, muscle relaxers, Physical therapy, and 2 steroid injections in the year since my symptoms started. I was in mild to moderate pain at all times, but it was the tingling, zapping, and numbness that were my biggest complaints. I realize only now that I was uncomfortable 24/7, I just didn't realize it. I have nothing but good to say about my neurosurgeon, who made sure to try all conservative measures first. I had my post-op appointment the other day, with Xrays, and all looks good! I still tire very easily and think I can do more than I actually can, but my neck and back tell me when I've overdone it. When that happens, I get out the heating pad and muscle relaxers. I really debated whether or not to have this surgery, since my symptoms were not nearly as severe as others on this forum. But at least for now, I'm glad I was proactive instead of reactive.
    ab1988
  • My symptoms were very similar to yours. I was in a car accident in 2013. And had been going to a chiropractor for almost ten months thinking that I had soft tissue damage. An x-Ray did not show anything more and so I kept going for adjustments while I was a student in Surgical Technology. I had headaches, super tight muscles under the scapula and trapezius muscles. Tingling and numbness in my pinky fingers and occasionally shooting paid also. I finally was advised to get an MRI done and I then found out that I had three herniated discs between c-5,c-6,&c-7. I had an Anterior Cervical Discectomy/fusion done almost three months ago. I am still having residual symptoms but mostly am having trouble sleeping because of neck spasms/tightness. I'm trying to adjust to having three vertebrates fused together with a titanium plate in my neck now. Not normal! But it had to be done. I hope you find out what's really going on with your neck and get an MRI. They show a lot more than an x-Ray. Good luck :)
  • Hi peeps, :)
    Accident prone seems to experience the same scapulla to neck stiffness and pain that I do. getting target point injections which work wonders but wear off after three weeks. Everyone, including me thought I'd be back on the treadmill by now, but I still am very timid= with everything.

    No doubt this changes your life!! Ready for Change, if you're going to surgery, all I can suggest is to gather your family and friends and let them know your fears. Cuz I was in shock when the surgeon's receptionist called me to schedule a consult. From that moment on life was in OMG mode. It was like a bad dream. In pain and scared out of my mind I made my DNR wishes known to my selected spokesperson and it was obvious my kids were not prepared at all!! They went into complete denial. Post op is harder for them, cuz I simply am not the same person.

    You never feel completely prepared, but this forum is a complete chapter in my life and love reading everyone's stories. You all help me sooooo much!!!
    46 F Avg Hgt/Weight non-smkr/drkr, ex-runner
    Chronic back/neck pain/urticaria (pic)
    ADCF C6-7, 11/13
    C3-4-5 , L3-4-5-S1 DDD bulge annular tear

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